Feeds

MS in fresh digital cert flaw

ActiveX bug let's attackers rip up credentials

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A flaw in the Windows handles digital certificates enables sophisticated crackers to get up to all sorts of mischief on unprotected boxes.

An ActiveX control called Certificate Enrolment Control (which ships with all versions of Windows), which deals with web-based certificate enrolments, can be manipulated to delete certificates on a victim's PC.

"An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could corrupt trusted root certificates, EFS encryption certificates, email signing certificates, and any other certificates on the system, thereby preventing the user from using these features," Microsoft warns in an advisory.

Attacks can be carried out through the ever-popular vectors of either a maliciously constructed Web page or a poisoned HTML email.

Although the flaw is difficult to exploit (as it requires knowledge of digital certificates), Microsoft urges users to consider applying the patch it has supplied as soon as possible by describing it as of critical importance.

In addition, the patch addresses a similar, but less serious vulnerability discovered in the SmartCard Enrolment control, which ships with Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

News of the ActiveX control problem comes as Microsoft continues to grapple with a more serious security vulnerability involving how Internet Explorer identifies secure Web sites.

To recap, a colossal stuff-up in Microsoft's and KDE's implementation of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate handling made it possible for anyone with a valid VeriSign SSL site certificate to forge any other VeriSign SSL site certificate, and abuse hapless Konqueror and Internet Explorer users with impunity.

Konqueror has fixed the problem but Microsoft is yet to issue a patch, preferring instead to downplay the importance of the bug., wrongly we believe. ®

Related Stories

Microsoft in summer patch frenzy
KDE fixes SSL hole as MS dithers
MS soft-pedals SSL hole
SSL defeated in IE and Konqueror

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.